Arkansas, AR - LPN Nursing Program Information
How to Become an LPN in Arkansas
Entry into Arkansas LPN program is competitive based on grades. The best way to ensure acceptance is through getting good grades in prerequisite courses. Around 30 credit hours of coursework must be completed in general studies before applying to a college of nursing. Topics range from science courses like math, biology, and physiology, to the liberal arts and topics like English and psychology. Grades in these courses are often the most important factor in deciding who gets into the best programs.
After six months to a year of prerequisites are complete, LPN programs in Arkansas typically take an additional year to finish. Available at private institutions like hospitals and clinics, as well as colleges and universities, not all programs have the same entrance requirements, so it is important to select a school where you have a reasonable chance of getting into the school of nursing. The quickest way to become licensed is through a diploma program, but it is also possible to take the National Counsel Licensing Examination-Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) after the first year of an Associate Degree, Nursing, or a targeted LPN program. In addition to a $200 examination fee paid to national administrators Pearson Vue, the Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires a $75 fee and a criminal background check—if you have completed any of the offenses deemed undesirable by state statute ACA §17-87-312, you may not take the exam. If you have a criminal record, it is best to check with your program of choice to see if the charges may interfere with your ability to become licensed, or consult the program for which you wish to apply.
Once a student has received their official passing results from the Arkansas Board of Nursing, they are eligible to begin working as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Arkansas. The license must be renewed every two years at a cost of $65 and with proof of fifteen hours of certified continuing education.
Arkansas LPN Jobs: Salary, Hours and Duties
Finding a job as an LPN in Arkansas is not very difficult—in fact, the US Department of Labor predicts that nurses will be one of the most in-demand occupations for years to come. And while around two-thirds of nurses still work in hospitals, a growing number are finding employment in nursing homes, doctor’s offices, and other private institutions. The average wage for an LPN in Arkansas is around $37,000 per year (according to BLS.gov), plus extensive benefits—pretty good for a license that can be obtained with about two years of college.
Typical tasks Arkansas LPNs are related to hands-on patient care. Taking directions from Registered Nurses and physicians, they are responsible for medicine administration, patient observation, and more. They may also be responsible for other types of bedside care such as feeding, bathing, collecting samples and maintaining medical equipment. Because LPN’s work directly with patients, they must also be emotionally prepared to help people through hardship—an important part of any patient care work.
Arkansas LPNs usually work 40 hours a week, although their schedules are far from 9 to 5. Night shifts, swing shifts and split shifts are common as patient care takes place at all hours of the day. Although this isn’t ideal for everyone, it may be advantageous for nurses who appreciate a flexible schedule due to other commitments such as family, school and so on.